Setting the Stage

November 11, 2021 (ongoing), University Chapel Galleries

Setting the Stage: A Glimpse Inside 150 Years of the University Chapel Auditorium

During the last 150 years, the stage in the University Chapel auditorium was variously decorated for centennials, celebrations, and anniversaries. Over time, the original gas lights were replaced with electric ones; a painted university banner came and went; fabric draperies were removed; metal gates were changed; and furniture on the stage was frequently added and subtracted. Portraits were added in 1875 and multiplied over the years. They included historic figures, university donors, and university presidents, and the paintings were frequently rearranged and ultimately spilled over to the side walls.

This exhibition documents many of those changes and includes portraits and artifacts that decorated the stage area. The exhibit also includes the 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and the 1866 J. Reid portrait of Robert E. Lee, which were relocated from the auditorium into the gallery in Fall 2020.

Open Hours
  • Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Reeves Museum of Ceramics and Watson Galleries are temporarily closed for installations and will reopen August 28, 2024 and October 2, 2024, respectively.

View Museum Hours and Admissions